Every January, I make predictions as to trends within the mom market and how companies might better connect with mothers in the coming year. However, what I've come to realize is that most marketing professionals are actually putting their finishing touches on their 2011 Mom Marketing plans now, making predictions for next year more timely and relevant. So why wait? Halloween is over, Christmas ads are fattening our Sunday papers already and moms are already exhibiting the behaviors I believe will drive the smartest marketing tactics for 2011.
1. Moms will hit the big screen, well the computer screen at least. Online mom broadcasting will become as popular and common as blogging. You see it with the emergence of The Pulse Network, the continued growth of MomTV and the expansion of most mom bloggers into " their blog name + tv.com". More and more moms are discovering the ease of connecting with their peers face to face via video chat, webisodes and online digital content. This means that companies will quickly follow in their desire to be a part of these digital communities. Marketers should begin to recognize that online video doesn't have to be professionally produced to be effective in capturing the attention of mothers and that enlisting moms to step in front of the camera to talk about your brand can be a great buzz builder.
2. Local will become the new global. Many of the most popular global and national mom bloggers are beginning to realize that they influence as many local moms as they do moms across the US. At the same time, they are also getting requests from local businesses to help them tap the mom market and localize social media. Moms are reacting by creating local sites that are scalable yet focus on an individual city or region. Two examples include Sarah Pinnix who gained popularity with her blog, RealLifeBlog.net and now with her local site, NC Blog Buzz Network and Andrea Deckard whose first blog, MommySnacks.net attracted brands like Pepsi and Disney and has since launched The Savings Lifestyle featuring Cincinatti.com, a local blog network. Both of these secondary sites contain local advertisement and attract moms in the local community.
3. There's a Mom-App for that. Moms love applications. Why? Because most of the apps they are downloading help them save time or money. Marketers need to recognize an application as another way to deliver relevant content to a mother and a means to continue a valuable dialogue. Remember the application doesn't necessarily need to be pushing content out but can be a branded tool that makes sense for you to sponsor.
4. Four-square for product, pricing and availability. Technology will finally catch up with moms who already tweet when they find a great price on bread at Wal-Mart or find a scarce toy on the shelf at Target during the holidays. In 2011, we will see moms covering each other's backs by sharing best price and product availability news all in one place. Currently this information is available, but scattered among niche topic blogs or Silicon Valley start-ups trying to race to market with the hottest new tool for moms. The problem with the latter lies with middle age or college men trying to imitate word of mom with databases and testosterone (no offense to anyone).
5. Companies will finally recognize Moms as business owners, inventors and professionals. I actually predicted this trend in 2010, 2009 and 2008. I actually have had it on my list since 1999. I think it's me, throwing it out there each year hoping it will be the year it finally happens. For the companies who do connect with moms as business owners, the payoff is great. This year, Kimberly Clark (through the Huggies brand) launched HuggiesMomInspired.com, a program that awards grants to worthy mom inventors. They awarded their first round of grants last month to 15 moms who have produced millions of online impressions via Facebook, Twitter, Websites and Blogs. Additionally, Kimberly Clark has won several industry awards for this innovative program. Supporting moms as business owners is a wide-open opportunity (but not for long) and allows brands to demonstrate their support of mompreneurs on a whole new platform.
It's my hope that I am sharing these insights with you soon enough to impact your 2011 marketing plans. Take a look at the programs and campaigns you conducted in 2010. Are the technologies and tactics outdated or have they passed the test of time? If it's time to try something new, you have five great ways to tap the mom market in 2011.